Los Angeles Lakers: Portland Trail Blazers prove they belong

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers finally played their first game of the NBA Playoffs, but it didn’t go according to plan.

After a long wait, the Los Angeles Lakers were finally playing in the NBA Playoffs. While it looked very different from a Game 1 at the Staples Center, the Lakers did officially snap their playoff drought.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the team had a very tough matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers were able to sneak into the playoffs thanks to some great play in the bubble.

Led by Damian Lillard, the Trail Blazers were one of the hottest teams in the bubble prior to getting into the playoffs. Since the Trail Blazers were in the Western Conference Finals last season, they were predicted by many to be a real threat to the Lakers. After winning in Game 1, the Trail Blazers proved to be just that.

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When looking at the Trail Blazers, it always starts with Lillard. As expected, Lillard played very well, as he totaled 34 points and hit six three-pointers. One of those three-pointers was a deep one that really helped swing the momentum of the game.

In addition to Lillard, the Trail Blazers also got a strong performance from C.J. McCollum in the starting lineup and Hassan Whiteside off the bench.

For the Lakers, things just simply didn’t go well. The Trail Blazers are not known for their defense, and the Lakers were unable to score over 100 points on them. While LeBron James had a monster triple-double, his partner Anthony Davis wasn’t very efficient on the offensive end.

After the two stars for the Lakers, the team didn’t get much else. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a shot, Danny Green continued to struggle, and Kyle Kuzma wasn’t efficient off the bench.

While it is just one game, the Lakers didn’t look good at all in this one. Now, the Trail Blazers have the belief that they can hang with the Lakers, and that is concerning. Considering the Lakers haven’t looked good since the season resumed, we will have to see if they bounce back in Game 2.